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Book Cover Monday: ЖАЛЬГИРИС

9 May, 2011

While not quite a book, the cover (and contents) of this 1985 Lithuanian football programme is so charming in it’s terribly Soviet Era-ness that the Author felt compelled to share it.

As often happens, the Author’s incurable curiosity and love of research sent her on a lengthy internet ramble.  What began with merely translating the cover and imprint page ended with enough knowledge about the history of a Baltic football team that the Author feels she could confidently converse with a die hard fan.

Russian Football

ЖАЛЬГИРИС, or Žalgiris, for those who don’t read Cyrillic, was the most famous and successful Lithuanian football club in the heyday of the USSR. 

1985 was a decent year for Žalgiris: they were the only Lithuanian team in the Soviet Union’s top tier (known as the Supreme League. Yep.), finished 7th in the league and beat both the Champions Dynamo Kiev and runners up Dnipro.

Too bad this program isn’t from 1987, which marked Žalgiriss best year ever and could have made this pack of stapled together xeroxed paper a collector’s item.  In 1987, with the dream team of Yurkusa, Yakubauskas and Narbekovas, Žalgiris finished 3rd in the Supreme League, winning them a UEFA Cup berth (although they didn’t last long).

Football Imprint page

Republican Council of Zalgiris.  Zalgiris – 85! Program USSR Championship Football. Published Vilnius, Lithuania 1985. Underlining and exclamation point done by previous owner.

Below Left: Stasis Vytautas Baranauskas, an ‘energetic, agile and hard-working’ striker, ‘leads in the fight for the ball’.*

Below Right: A young fan present Vaclovas Yurkus, the goalkeeper, with some tulips.

Russian p.1

In 2003, Arminas Narbekovas, the handsome moustachioed, cardigan-wearing fellow pictured below was declared Lithuanian’s most outstanding player of the past 50 years by UEFA.  Well done Arminas!

Footballer and Baby

Arminas with (the Author hazards a guess) his wife and child. What an…extravagant hair accessory the little girl has. It looks rather like whipped cream was indelicately plopped on her head.

*quote from Wikipedia via Google Translate

This programme was found in a Charity Shop in St Andrews, Scotland.  How on Earth did it arrive there?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    15 December, 2012 8:26 am

    The last Photo is not Arminas. Not his daughter and not his wife!

  2. 18 December, 2012 4:05 am

    My apologies–I misidentified the handsome mustache. Do you know who that fine family man is? I will check the original document at the next available moment.

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